More than a million download Scotland’s tracing app

The Protect Scotland app has already told more than 100 Scots to self-isolate, Nicola Sturgeon revealed.

More than a million download Scotland’s tracing app NHS

More than a million people have downloaded Scotland’s coronavirus contact tracing app.

The ‘Protect Scotland’ software, launched last week, uses bluetooth technology to identify close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases.

With more than a million downloads, it suggests around 22% of Scotland’s adult population now have the app.

Some experts believe that take-up of a proximity tracing app has to be in the region of 60% of the population for it to be most effective, but it is generally agreed that any take-up above 15% can be useful.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon revealed the app had already told more than 100 people to self-isolate due to coming into contact with a coronavirus case.

The app is available for free download in the Apple app store or Google Play.

After passing a million downloads, Sturgeon tweeted her thanks to the public on the milestone, adding: “Please keep spreading the word.”

Later in the Holyrood chamber, she told MSPs: “One million is already a big enough number for us to know that the app can make a difference.

“In fact, I can report that more than 100 people have been advised to isolate as a result of using it.

“I would encourage everyone that hasn’t yet done so to download it.

“This is a simple – and it is simple – but it’s also an important way in which we can fight Covid-19.”

The Protect Scotland app is designed to alert users if they have been in prolonged close proximity with someone with the virus even if they don’t know each other.

It does not store details on an individual or their location but uses encrypted, anonymised codes exchanged between smartphones to determine all close contacts.

Close contacts are defined as people who have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes.

Designed by software developers NearForm for NHS Scotland, it uses the same technology as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Irish proximity apps.

The app requires iPhone users to be using at least the iOS 13 operating system, which is not supported by the iPhone 6 and other older models launched before 2015.

Android users also require to have the Android 6.0 operating system or newer, which was launched in the same year.

The FM has acknowledged not everyone will be able to download the app, and that it is designed to compliment the existing ‘Test and Protect’ regime, which traces contacts by telephone.

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